The odds of surviving after receiving CPR aren’t even close to what TV shows say they are. Find out the truth
Dr. David Newman says after practicing emergency medicine for 20 years, he remembers every patient who has walked out of his hospital alive after receiving CPR. This is because, contrary to what popular TV shows depict, the number of people who survive CPR is actually very small. Out of hundreds of CPR patients who came to the New York hospitals where he has worked, he remembers no more than one person a year making a full recovery.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was introduced to American doctors in 1960, and since then it has become a much used procedure in emergency medicine. According to ‘The American’, more than 14 million people in 60 countries were trained in CPR between 2011 and 2012, but results of recent studies show that the number of lives saved by the procedure is not as many as your favorite TV drama would have you believe. Only about 2% of adults who collapse and receive CPR recover fully!
Some researchers suggest that television created a myth about CPR which, in turn, created unrealistically high expectations in the public mind. In 97 episodes of ‘ER’, ‘Chicago Hope’ and ‘Rescue 911’, 75% of the patients survived immediate cardiac arrest, and two thirds were discharged with no lingering side-effects after receiving CPR! It is in stark contrast to reality as revealed by medical studies.